The Fool-Proof Guide to Failing with Flair

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Tag Archives: discovery

Crisp and Crunchy

photo(15)

Crisp and crunchy
Red, gold and orange
Airy, earthy, light

Tangy morning
Sharp and clear
Coolness strays from night

Spice and sweetness
Knit and wool
Warmth and wings in flight

Nipping day
Green is brown
Yesterday I wish I might

Have more hours
Ocean’s roar
Off beyond my sight

Come a time
Around again
Everything’s all right

 

Yes, it’s Fall. Summer is gone. Tomorrow we celebrate Columbus’ bravery and poor navigation skills. No, this is not going to be another political post. I just couldn’t help myself. I’m pretty sure Columbus never even set foot on North American soil. I could be wrong. I’m not a historian, but I’m still fairly certain it was a different slew of European pilgrims who tried to claim these now United States for themselves, and who killed off the native population. Columbus mostly did his damage in South America.

Don’t get all upset with me. I’m not trying to take away your holiday or abuse poor Christopher’s memory too roughly. He was a bold and adventurous fellow, sailing without the benefit of satellite-enabled GPS. He had to make do with the stars, and sea-travel was a much riskier business in those days. Things might be quite different here if not for his daring and arrogance. There are pros and cons to that, like anything else. “Discovery”, however, is a relevant term. What I mean is that it matters only in relation to personal knowledge and experience. For instance, I was 20 before I “discovered” that I liked broccoli. Broccoli was around for ages and ages before I gave it a try. South America was around for more than a millennium before Columbus “found” it. Still, he discovered something new to him, and discovering new things should be encouraged. Just be careful not to run around causing chaos and genocide by claiming that you were the first. “There is nothing new under the sun.” (Yes, I just used a quote from the Bible, Ecclesiastes 1:9.)

I am willing to embrace Columbus’ legacy, but only insofar as it celebrates the spirit of discovery, and not the misconceptions and falsehoods we were taught in grammar school, or the murder of culture and people.

Although Fall is the season of nature’s twilight, it is also a season of new beginnings and often, the onset of journeys to self-discovery. The school year kicks off and fresh educational opportunities abound. I’m no longer a student in any academically official sense (and haven’t been for a long time), but this Fall feels like the New Year’s Eve of learning and self-discovery for me. I don’t have a list of resolutions (except maybe “keep all my teeth” just in case I ever want to date someone from Craigslist) but I am excited to sail the next ocean of my life, and to discover new intellectual continents. I promise not to kill any natives.

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